When you’re done trying on clothes in the dressing room…

Don’t put it back yourself. Not that halter dress. Not that skirt. No, not even that t-shirt. I guarantee that you will somehow do it wrong and I will have to fix it. We hang things in a certain way and, since I’m getting paid to put the clothing back and you aren’t, I think I have a little more invested in it being done correctly. Also, after you leave, the mean manager will find that size 2 pair of boot-leg jeans that you stuffed behind the size 6 slim ankle pants and lecture me about being conscientious. Let me do my job. Hand me the clothes, hang them on the “go-back” rack, or leave them in the dressing room. Don’t even bother refolding shit. You’re doing it wrong.

Dirty Dishes

When I ask you to do the dishes, when do you think I want them done?

Wrong Answer:

While I am in the middle of cooking dinner?

When that video of a corgi getting stuck in a tent is over?

Right after you show me something first?

After I remind you to do them later?

After I ask you to do them for THE THIRD FREAKING TIME?

When there are dishes everywhere and a second load will now have to wait?

Right Answer:

As soon as possible. Like, right now, or in like fifteen minutes. But pretty soon, okay? Thanks!!! You’re the best!!!

Maria Bamford

My mom bought my brother, who is a huge Chelsea Handler fan, this Comedy Central DVD of female comedians.  Maria Bamford was on it and I had heard of her from this article and also this one.

She also did a Reddit AMA. Excerpts:

Well, I live in California- where what I’m sharing really isn’t that personal? Real estate agents have short memoirs of their shaman healings in my neighborhood– so it doesn’t feel that brave. And my parents (and family) have always talked about EVERYTHING. I mean everything. So, they’re probably wondering, “Why doesn’t she open up more?” Mom, Dad, I’m just waiting til I feel like I know you better.

Just do it. Do what you think is funny. Do it again and again. Fail, try, try, fail, enjoy, triumph, again. That’s all there is. We’re all in the same boat- i’m just as scared as you are. I’ve always been sort of shy and passive aggressive (which I hope is changing) and stand-up has been comfortable for me. It’s a way to say what I want without being challenged- which of course would be different if I did a lot of shows in the UK – where heckling is an art form. Just do it. You are your biggest fan.

 

Re-Tales: Xmas Edition

I asked my boss if she found the purse that her daughter wanted.

She said she had, but that it wouldn’t arrive in time for Christmas.

That was alright though; she had a plan.

She would print out a picture of the purse, seal it in an envelope, hide it in the bottom of her daughter’s stocking, and make sure it was the last thing she opened.

“I like to see my kids squirm,” she cackled.

I’ve never liked her more.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Re-Tales (Get it, like “Retail,” but it’s a story…it’s probably not good if I have to explain it)

I work at the mall.

I figured I might as well try to get something positive out of this experience, so I’m going to start posting about things that happen while I’m at work.

A couple of weeks ago, a customer came to the store to return a pair of pants.  A manager walked over and the customer, a woman, explained her situation.

Customer: I need to exchange these pants for a smaller size.  I’ve lost a lot of weight recently, due to stress.  My mother just died.

Manager: That’s great!

Customer: Thanks!

This is insane. Talk about a “silver lining.” Maybe this applies to other, supposedly “tragic” situations.

Customer: I came in to buy a whole new wardrobe because my house burned down and I lost everything.

Sales Associate: A whole new wardrobe? That’s awesome!

Customer: I know!

Lesson learned. Remember to look on the bright side.  Although most people may go with “I’m sorry to hear that,” it’s not your only option!

Tig Notaro on Fresh Air

Step 1: Read this post.

Step 2: Listen to this interview.

Step 3: Buy the set.

And that is how you maximize your Tig potential.

Tig Notaro announced this week that her double mastectomy was successful, doctors believe they removed all of the cancer and they told her she has only a 7% chance of recurrence. Obviously, this is amazing news! and I’m glad that she will be around to make people laugh/cry/think for many years to come. Also, when (not if) you buy her set, most of the proceeds go to breast cancer charities, so it counts as a good deed.

Here’s an excerpt from Tig Notaro’s Fresh Air interview:

GROSS: So what did it feel like the first time you got a laugh?

NOTARO: I wasn’t expecting it. It’s so interesting, I didn’t account for laughter, which seems odd, but I had been talking to myself for so long at my apartment. I was so focused on getting all of my material down and when I got on stage at the coffee shop and people laughed, I remember being taken aback. I was like, oh, oh that’s what I was telling you this for, was for the laughter, but I just didn’t even, didn’t even factor it in at all but it was so exhilarating.

GROSS: So a lot…

NOTARO: So much so that I the second night I did stand up I thought because the first night went so well I was like oh, this is so easy. So I went and I…

(LAUGHTER)

NOTARO: I competed in a standup competition and I got booed off the stage and walked offstage, really. I was like what am I doing?

GROSS: And how come you weren’t so discouraged that you never went back on stage again?

NOTARO: It’s that thing of comedy. It’s that roller coaster that just sucks you in. It’s kind of like gambling, I guess. You hit big one time and then you bottom out, and you’re like oh, I can hit big again, and so that just kind of keeps you going. Luckily, I’m not a gambler, or a drinker or, you know, I get my fix of comedy.

Also, Louis CK, who is releasing Tig’s set through his website, and who has been a guest on Fresh Air before, spoke with Terry Gross about why Tig’s set is, in his words, “masterful.”

Here’s an excerpt from Louis CK’s interview:

GROSS: From a comic’s perspective, what made the set so good?

C.K.: Well, you know, for comedians you see everything. We know all the tricks so it’s hard to impress a comedian with comedy. But some people have a sound that’s just theirs that’s patented. It’s kind of like horn players. There’s probably times that Charlie Parker would tell John Coltrane, you know, I saw this guy in Chicago you got to hear him. I mean, nobody’s doing what this guy is doing. Tig has this really beautiful sound on stage. She has this way of dropping her jokes that are – they’re wonderful deadly jokes. And they’re about small things usually, like bees and drapes, but they’re incredible.

So here she is applying it to something really big. It was an incredible example of what comedy is good at, which is taking people to the scary parts of their mind and making them laugh in those scary places. That’s a great gift. And some of us do it through calculation or through repetition and, kind of, like, you know, focusing on a bit and refining it. Tig just went up there with her voice and in front of us she processed her own death, her own imminent death, with humor, with comedy, which is this very pure oxygen-rich environment.

You know, she did something about looking at a picture of herself when she was five and saying to this cute little picture, you’re going to get cancer. And we’re all going, oh my god. And I never – for me, I kept – I was crying and laughing the whole time and hearing the audience lurching back and forth, exploding, then hushed – totally hushed – and then exploding again. It’s like I never saw anything like it, the way that she controlled it.

A note about that bold section above, that would have absolutely make me cry.  FO SHO.

UPDATE: Amazing! So many funny, touching moments. A lot of variety. This is one of the bravest things I’ve ever heard before; I can’t imagine being able to stand up in front of strangers and share such personal things.